King Abdullah: Assad may seek Alawite enclave

In CBS interview, Jordanian king warns Syria's chemical weapons must be secured, but that's not an invitation for intervention.

August 7, 2012 23:25
1 minute read.
Abdullah CBS Interview

Abdullah CBS Interview. (photo credit: Screenshot)


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Jordanian King Abdullah II told "CBS This Morning" that Syrian President Bashar Assad will stick to his guns and won't back down, but may try to form an "Alawite enclave" within greater Syria, in an interview aired Tuesday.

Assad believes he is in the right, King Abdullah told Charlie Rose in Amman on Sunday. "I think the regime feels that it has no alternative, but to continue. ... I don't think it's just Bashar. It's not the individual. It's the system of the regime."

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The Syrian president, Abdullah continued, is going to continue on his current path indefinitely.

"If he cannot rule Greater Syria, an Alawite enclave will be Plan B," King Abdullah continued.

Syria is ruled largely by members of an esoteric Islamic sect, the Alawites. This minority sect, which makes up a mere 12 percent of the population, is the backbone of Assad's regime.

King Abdullah called an Alawite breakaway the "worst case scenario," predicting a breakup of Syria and land grabs from all directions.

At the same time as he called for an immediate political resolution to the situation in Syria, he warned against international intervention, even in the context of securing Assad's chemical weapons.

"What scares most of us is the chemical weapons falling into rebel hands," he said, adding that although the weapons must be secured, that goal should not be seen as an invitation for intervention.

It is a crisis that the world must react to, he added, saying he is "weary of people looking at it as a reason [for intervention]."

"The minute you cross the border with armed forces or the military, then it's anybody's guess what the outcome is."

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